Secretary-General, at Opening Ceremony for World Rowing Championship, Calls Sport ‘Powerful Weapon against Discrimination’

24 August 2013
SG/SM/15235

Secretary-General, at Opening Ceremony for World Rowing Championship, Calls Sport ‘Powerful Weapon against Discrimination’

24 August 2013
Secretary-General
SG/SM/15235
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Secretary-General, at Opening Ceremony for World Rowing Championship,


Calls Sport ‘Powerful Weapon against Discrimination’

 


Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks at the opening ceremony of the 2013 World Rowing Championships in Chungju, Republic of Korea, on 24 August:


Good evening, everyone.  Thank you very much for your warm welcome.  I am delighted to celebrate the opening of the 2013 World Rowing Championships.


The United Nations is an international organization, so I am happy to see competitors from around the world.  Welcome to Korea.  Welcome to Chungju, my hometown.  I thank the people of Chungju and Mayor Lee Jong-bae, and I welcome all the athletes from all different countries.


Sport promotes peace and progress.  I have seen this around the world:  at the Olympics in London; in the eyes of young people; and in the triumph of persons with disabilities who show that the human spirit can beat any adversity.


The United Nations is using sports to help realize our vision for a better world.  You are also joining forces with international organizations.  I applaud the strategic alliance between the International Rowing Federation and the World Wide Fund for Nature.


Sport is a powerful weapon against discrimination.  Athletes at professional games come together in a spirit of friendship.  There is no room for any type of discrimination at sports events.  I count on you to be part of our team.  Rowers know better than anyone the importance of moving together towards a common goal.


Your challenge is to win the race against each other.  But, we, as a human family, are in a race against time to address poverty, hunger, disease, environmental degradation and climate change.  The United Nations is leading a global effort to rise to the challenges of our day.


I wish everyone the best of luck in your competition at this year’s Championships.  I know that when it comes to making our world a better place, you are already all winners.  And I wish you all the best.


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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.